04 January 2013

Beauty Blogging: What I've Learned, And What It Means To Me

Irish bloggers at the Christmas Bloggers Meetup!
The start of a new year is always a time of instrospection and thinking about lessons learned. But then I realised, yay! I've done all that already! Last month - last year! - I was asked by Sarah of Adoreabubbles to talk to a group of lovely Irish bloggers about blogging and what it means to me. Here are my musings on the subject - hope you find it interesting but if not, feel free to skip this one; regular beauty and fashion posts will resume shortly!

I'm not used to public speaking - at all - but in a way this is a good example of what blogging is all about: opening yourself up to new things, putting yourself out there a bit, stretching yourself and welcoming new opportunities into your life. We all say this – because for most of us it's true – but you never imagine when you start your little site that it could bring all of this richness into your life. The experiences, the events, treatments, the products... I've had some pinch-me moments and some brilliant opportunities - like writing for beaut.ie and my column in the Metro Herald - and I'm really grateful for all of the chances that I’ve had. But mostly I'm grateful for the people: I have met some really wonderful people online who are now great friends offline, and that's just magical.
You do have to work incredibly hard for the opportunities that you get, though, as everyone here knows. I am in awe of the mothers who blog and manage it alongside looking after their families, or the people who have several different hobbies with blogging being just one of them. I don’t know how they manage it. Blogging takes up all of my spare time, quite a bit of my money and lots of my headspace, too - it can be all consuming.
L-R: Sarah, Karen, me making a very scrunched up face, and  Cindy 
But all of that’s ok because I love it. And if you love something you will put in the time and the effort and it will always pay off in the end. But you have to REALLY love it, or you won’t want to put in the hours, you won’t want to be sitting in front of a screen typing away at the weekends when you could be out doing other things. It's important to keep a balance - that you never lose the enjoyment and the fun factor and you don’t put too much pressure on yourself because if it stops being fun, if you lose your passion for it, then there's just no point. And it will come across in what you write and people won't want to read it anyway.
You also have to be really careful not to let blogging mess with your head. You hear rumbles about the blogosphere being a bitchy place or people not being supportive of each other - I haven't experienced much of that, but I have experienced anxiety, insecurity, paranoia, pangs of jealousy...all feelings I'm not used to and all brought on by myself. Jane from British Beauty Blogger has written about this very topic so I would urge you to read that if you haven't already. Karen from Lovely Girlie Bits has also written a great piece on it here.

The other thing I try to keep in mind is that my blog is not a business, or my day job. I might have the odd ad or partnered post, but it's not a second job, far from it. It's a hobby that has great perks - it allows me to meet lovely people and do things like this and try lots of pretty shiny makeup which I love - but you need to keep some perspective. Only a tiny percentage of bloggers will ever cross over into professional blogging. And the good thing about being amateurs is that no-one expects us to be perfect.
The best we can do is love what we do, be kind to each other, try and support one another, read and comment on each other's blogs, and try to make our own the best it can be. I'm no expert but my top tips are to be consistent, to be true to yourself and don't take it too seriously. At the end of the day, it's only blogging.

I'd also like to say a massive thank you to Sarah for organising such a brilliant event, to everyone who listened patiently to my ramblings on the day, and to the other speakers, Kat & Rach from Dolly Rouge and Ellie from MisseBlog along with Marissa Carter from Cocoa Brown and Niamh Martin of NIMA Brush! Hope you found this interesting, or if you write a blog yourself, that you find it useful in some way. Thanks for reading and I'd love to know your thoughts! For more tips on blogging  you could also read this brilliant writeup on Fash Mob which summarises beaut.ie co-founder Kirstie McDermott's talk at last year's dot conf.

23 comments:

Lisa Dunn said...

Aw I loved your talk so much - I can see myself coming back to read this again and again. :D x

Karen said...

Great post Emma, I was trying to remember all the points you made that day so this is uber helpful! You're very wise and I'm glad to know you in the real life xx

Adele said...

Such a great insight Emma & congrats on your talk, well done!
Have a fab weekend Hun xoxo
http://www.intotheblonde.com/

Adele said...

Such a great insight Emma & congrats on your talk, well done!
Have a fab weekend Hun xoxo
http://www.intotheblonde.com/

Nina s said...

awww i really enjoyed this post i was so engrossed in reading it i heard no one around me lol :) :) I was so looking forward to seeing you at the christmas meet up but of course sickness got in the way but next time hopefully :)
Happy New Year to you hunny :)

Nurse Fancy Pants said...

I really enjoyed this at the time and again now reading over it. Really excellent advice Emma, thank you! Hope you had a good Christmas! Xx

Chic 'n Cheap Living said...

Congratulations on headlining the talk! Blogging is such a cool thing and yes there are some haters, but the sense of community is lovely!

xoxo,
Chic 'n Cheap Living

Ms. Dainty Doll said...

Love it doll and I agree with what you said at the bottom, about it being a community and being kind to one another..so important!! It's a great hobby to have and it brings us in contact with so many people we wouldn't otherwise meet. We learn from each other & that's the best :)) Really enjoyed this, you look smashing as always!! Have a wonderful weekend doll xox

Fabrizia said...

Sound like great time!
Come back soon to visit my fashion blog!
Vote for me at New York Fashion Week and you might WIN too and JOIN ME!!!

adoreabubbles said...

Thank you so much for coming Emma, it was so nice to meet you in person. Your talk was really helpful, you really brought up all the major points and helped me to remember why I began blogging in the first place. Have a happy new year. xxx

Makeup Over Mind said...

Lovely post Emma! Can't wait for the next meet up! :)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like it was a great event :)

Anonymous said...

That's a really helpful post Emma, especially for the likes of me who is only starting blogging :-) Only raging that I missed out on the talk. Keep up the good work!

Emilyx0- Irish beauty blog said...

I really enjoyed your talk at the meetup Emma! You gave great advice to bloggers like myself just starting out.

Emilyx0

fluff and fripperies said...

Thanks so much for the lovely feedback ladies - so happy some of you guys found it useful! xo

Emma said...

This was lovely to read Emma, I can really relate to your feelings about blogging. I don't think I could enjoy it as much as I do if I was doing it professionally. I do it because I love it and I'm passionate about it and write about what I love and what interests me and I think if you do that you can't go too far wrong. I definitely think blogging has opened me up to so many new things, people and experiences. I'm so happy that you can say the same! It's so rewarding!

Emma x

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post!

Bravoe Runway said...

You've been doing a great job promoting your blog and it's a success that you're now speaking to others and have your articles published.

Bravoe Runway said...

You've been doing a great job promoting your blog and it's a success that you're now speaking to others and have your articles published.

Eimear Mc Keown said...

Well done Emma. Thanks for sharing that, great articles from Jane & Karen too x

Sweet like Cinnamon said...

Awesome post Emma! I love the way you explain what blogging means to you, I feel very similar and I am just about to click on all those links you shared, being new to this, I have not read any of those other posts! So thanks a lot and please keep doing what you do :-)

Anonymous said...

Was gutted I missed your talk, bloody car meter! Everyone said it was great! Lovely post and all so true x

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